Pride, a shot at the Cup and many jobs now on the line

The list of questions the Vancouver Canucks can avoid having to answer — if they manage to pull their heads out of their nether regions and find their game again in time to save a memorable season — is long and invasive. It includes topics such as leadership, character, fear of success, personnel selection, coaching, management style and courage. And if it continues to go badly here Sunday and at home Tuesday for the Canucks — who seem inexplicably eager to blow a 3-0 series lead to the Chicago Blackhawks and join the 1942 Detroit Red Wings, 1975 Pittsburgh Penguins and 2010 Boston Bruins in the playoff hockey hall of shame — a lot of very good names are going to get dragged through the mud during the inquiry.It doesn’t have to be this way.The Canucks have been above reproach in most of those categories all season, through some trying times, when “stay the course” was the answer to every mini-crisis, and the unruffled facade that adorned the masthead from GM Mike Gillis through coach Alain Vigneault and down through captain Henrik Sedin and the team’s leadership group may have made for lousy quotes but was pretty good for results.Pretty good? Make that spectacular.A Presidents’ Trophy, won by a country mile, earning Gillis a finalist’s berth in the executive of the year voting. Another Art Ross Trophy for a different Sedin. Maybe a second Hart, too, because luckily for Daniel, the voting was done on the basis of the regular season. A growing appreciation of the multi-faceted excellence of Ryan Kesler, who could well win the Selke. A sense of contentment, finally, in Roberto Luongo, Vezina finalist, who had been a lightning rod as captain but was a pure pleasure to watch once he went back to being just a goaltender.